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How to Use Online Ratings for a Hospital

What you can find: You can search by name, or search and compare hospitals based on:

  • Region
  • Health system
  • Size
  • Ownership
  • Type

Details you can see: State or national averages and results for overall recommended care, quality care, patient experience, emergency care, immunization rates, and several others.

When you click on a category, you can also get information on:

  • Selected hospitals and benchmarks
  • Trend data
  • Top performers
  • Map view

Rating format: You can look up and create reports that compare hospitals, hospital groups, or regions. You can also view featured reports, such as "Patient Experiences: State by State Variation." 

What the rating is based on: Ratings are based on data from government sources such as CMS, the Institute of Medicine, The Joint Commission, HCAHPS surveys, and other trusted sources.

What you can find: You'll find a score for overall quality as well as for a certain types of care, such as cancer care or joint replacement.

Details you can see: How the hospitals near your ZIP code rank for a particular type of care, but not how that rank was specifically determined or patient reviews. You can also see the top hospitals in the U.S. for specific types of care.

Rating format: The best hospitals can earn a √++. The lowest get a √--. Half of all hospitals fall in the middle, earning a √.

What the rating is based on:

  • Process measures: How the hospital's care compares to the standard recommended guidelines for treatment, using data collected by the Hospital Quality Alliance, a private-public collaboration
  • Outcome measures: How well patients do, using information collected by Medicare
  • Patient experience measures: Patient satisfaction using public information, collected primarily by Medicare

What you can find: A list of hospitals near the town or city you enter. You can sort by:

  • Location
  • Type of facility
  • Healthgrades Awards
  • Healthgrades Ratings for different procedures and conditions

Details you can see:

  • Directions and maps
  • How a hospital compares to national averages based on patient experience rankings
  • How well a hospital rates for patient safety for 14 potentially serious preventable complications
  • How well patients do at different points of a hospital stay for a specific condition, called quality of care ratings. For instance, there are ratings for care while a patient is in the hospital, 30 days after leaving the hospital, and 180 days after leaving the hospital.

Rating format: Hospitals are rated in three categories and each category is rated in a different way:

  • Patient Safety measures: Rated as worse than average, average, better than average
  • Outcome measures or Clinical Quality: Rated with 1 star = worse than expected, 3 stars = as expected, 5 stars = better than expected
  • Patient Experience measures: Satisfaction scores showing how hospitals rate compared to the national average

What the rating is based on:

  • Patient safety measures as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Outcome measures or clinical quality rating: Outcomes for 31 common procedures and conditions using Medicare discharge data
  • Patient experience measures: From Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys, administered by CMS

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